Lyft publicly files with the SEC for its IPO

Lyft And Uber To Offer Stock Options To Drivers Ahead Of IPOs

Lyft officially files to go public

Far larger rival Uber's penchant for scandals over the past few years acted as a giant promotional campaign for Lyft, helping it gain riders and drivers.

Its net loss in 2018 came to $911.3 million.

The ride-hailing provider plans to debut on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "LYFT".

Its gross bookings, or the total value of the rides it sells before driver pay is deducted, reached $8.05 billion for last year, 76 percent above the prior year and 323 percent above 2016 bookings.

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Lyft said in the filing its aim is to "improve people's lives with the best transportation" and it "started a movement to revolutionize transportation" when it launched its ride-hailing service in 2012. In 2017, it was losses of $688 million on $1.1 billion, and a year ago, the company lost $911 million on $2.2 billion in revenue. Lyft is now working on a cash program to give some drivers money to buy its stock at the time of the IPO.

High-profile investors have piled into Lyft in recent years, including Carl Icahn, who funneled $100 million into the company in 2015. Its US ridesharing market share was 39 percent in December 2018, up from 22 percent in December 2016.

2018 has not been a good year for the company, as it has announced that its losses for the year will amount to more than $1 billion dollars.

"We believe that the world is at the beginning of a shift away from auto ownership to Transportation-as-a-Service", the company said in its regulatory filing. Lyft already offers bike and scooter-sharing schemes. Growth year-over-year slipped throughout 2018, falling from 130 percent in the first quarter to 94 percent in the fourth quarter.

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Wall Street analysts have estimated Lyft could be valued at between $20 billion and $30 billion in the IPO, and Uber at around $120 billion. Uber and Lyft will be compensating their oldest and most loyal drivers in the process.

In its filing, Lyft made mention of this: "We believe that our ability to compete effectively depends upon many factors both within and beyond our control, including. our ability to attract and retain qualified drivers and riders". Previously, because drivers are classified as contractors, they were not open to receiving these benefits. Although it doesn't say what percentage of votes they would control, the filing says they "will be able to significantly influence any action requiring the approval of our stockholders", including the election of board members, a merger, asset sales or other major corporate transactions.

San Francisco-based Lyft is positioned to become the first IPO from a group of highly valued, venture-backed companies including Pinterest and Slack expected go public this year.

As revealed in documents filed on Friday, Lyft's biggest shareholders include Japan's Rakuten, General Motors, Fidelty, Andreesen Horowitz and Alphabet.

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